Orwell in Cuba chronicles journalist Frédérick Lavoie’s attempts to unravel the motives behind the mysterious appearance of a new translation of George Orwell’s 1984, formerly taboo in Cuba, just ahead of the country’s twenty-fifth International Book Fair. Lavoie works to make sense of how Cubans feel about the past, present, and future of their island – and how the political regime is adapting, or not, to life in the twenty-first century. His intertwined quests give readers the unique experience of following a suspenseful trail while at the same time becoming increasingly familiar with Cubans’ relationship to the regime and their strategies for coping with the island’s often challenging living conditions.
Born in Chicoutimi in 1983, Frédérick Lavoie is a writer and freelance journalist. He is the author of three nonfiction books, including For Want of a Fir Tree: Ukraine Undone (Linda Leith Publishing, 2018). In Orwell in Cuba: How ‘1984’ Came to Be Published in Castro’s Twilight, winner of the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for French Non-Fiction, he continues his investigation of the many faces of humanity in troubled times.
As a journalist, Lavoie has contributed to many Canadian and European media outlets, reporting from more than thirty countries. Previously based in Moscow and Chicago, he now divides his time between Montréal and Mumbai. Lavoie is currently writing a book on Bangladesh. Donald Winkler is a translator of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. He is a three-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for French-to-English Translation, and has been a finalist on three other occasions. He lives in Montréal.
"Orwell in Cuba is nuanced and compelling."
—Literary Review of Canada